Harper’s Bazar New York
Vol. XIXI, Saturday, May 07, 1898
Women of the West
Mrs. Kat Sinclair Cutshaw, Female Western Correspondent
I count it a privilege to share the stories of fascinating women of the west with you each month. This month, I have chosen Mrs. Adams as my subject. My sisters and I, and most young women in Cripple Creek, know her as Miss Hattie, the proprietor of Miss Hattie’s Boardinghouse. I will forego my usual third-person writing style so I may interview Miss Hattie instead.
Miss Kat Sinclair Cutshaw: Miss Hattie, where did you reside before coming west?
Miss Hattie: I was born in Missouri and lived in Saint Charles. In ’66, I met my late husband George, God rest his dear soul. We met on a wagon caravan coming west.
Miss Kat Sinclair Cutshaw: You are one of our country’s pioneers. You are the sole proprietor of a boardinghouse, and in the past ten years, you’ve had a definitive role in bringing classical music and culture to a wild west mining camp. To what do you give credit for your spirit of adventure?
Miss Hattie: When I would test my mother’s patience with dreams and schemes, she blamed my father; said I was just like him. From an early age, I counted it a favor. The day we received word of his death in the War Between the States, I’ve clung to that spirit of adventure as tightly as I’ve held the memory of him.
Mrs. Kat Sinclair Cutshaw: You are the chairwoman for the Women for the Betterment of Cripple Creek. But in this time of Suffragettes and marches on main streets, you take a quieter approach to leadership and affecting change. You don’t march in the streets or stand atop a platform in the town square. Neither do you wield a megaphone or a sword.
Miss Hattie: I prefer to lead from behind an apron, a cookie tin, or a mop. I consider myself a friend to women. The best way to change our circumstance, whether it’s personal, community-wide, or across our great country, is to come along side one another.
Mrs. Kat Sinclair Cutshaw: I’ve seen, first-hand, your style of leadership. A cup of tea and a lemon scone, a tender touch and a listening ear that tells another woman she is not alone; that she can be an overcomer…an achiever.
Miss Hattie: Thank you, dear. You always did favor the scones.
Mrs. Kat Sinclair Cutshaw: Miss Hattie, what advice would you give women wanting to make a difference in their community?
Miss Hattie: To be an effective leader, you need to know what you’re following and in whom you are placing your faith. You need to believe that ideal and that person is worthy to lead you.
Mrs. Kat Sinclair Cutshaw: Thank you for your time, Miss Hattie, and thank you for your leadership.
Miss Hattie: It’s been my priviledge. Every bit of it, dear.
Any Miss Hattie fans in the crowd?
MORE GOOD NEWS! I have Miss Hattie’s recipe for lemon scones, and I”ll share it with you soon.